Monday, December 9, 2013

Cabbage Roll Soup

When I was a kid, one of the things my dad looked forward to when visiting his parents was his mom's famous cabbage rolls.  We didn't live in the same city, so every couple of years when we would visit, you could be sure that cabbage rolls would be on the menu.  As excited as he was, I secretly hated them.  Grandma's house was the only place we ever ate them, and the sour cabbage was an assault on my undeveloped palate.

Since that time, I have grown and so have my tastes.  Cabbage rolls are now one of my favourite foods, but I don't have the time or patience to make them, and Grandma lives three provinces away (I don't think she's made them in quite a while, either).  One night, I had a mad craving for some cabbage rolls, so I called my mom to see if she had the recipe for Grandma's special sauce.  I thought I would buy some frozen cabbage rolls, and then just make some sauce to bake them in.  Imagine my surprise when I found out that Grandma's special sauce is condensed tomato soup and ketchup!

This recipe is my attempt to harness the taste of those famous cabbage rolls while skipping the labour intensive rolling step and making a few substitutions in order to increase the health factor.

This will serve 6 - 8 people.


1 Tbsp organic canola oil
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, shredded
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp sugar
1 bottle passata (crushed, strained tomatoes)
28 oz diced tomatoes
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup barley (rice can be substituted)
1 1/2 cups sauerkraut
6 mild Italian sausages, cut into rounds
1 cup milk
salt, pepper


1. Saute onion in canola oil with a pinch of salt until translucent and golden.  Add grated carrot.

2. Add paprika, garlic powder, sugar, passata, diced tomatoes, chicken stock, barley, sauerkraut, sausage. Bring to a boil.  Lower heat and cover.

3. Simmer until barley is tender and sausage is cooked through, about 30 - 40 minutes.

4. Remove from heat, add milk, and salt and pepper to taste.

5.  If you can leave it until the next day and reheat it, it will be even better.  Enjoy!

Shopping Tips:

1. Passata can be found in Italian markets, but I have also found it in grocery stores near the pasta sauce.

2. Make sure you buy plain diced tomatoes, not the ones that have added seasonings.

3. Sauerkraut comes in two forms: naturally fermented and pickled.  The way to tell the difference is to look at the ingredients.  If it is naturally fermented, the only ingredients will be cabbage and salt.  I prefer this kind because the natural fermentation process produced beneficial bacteria that aid in digestion and health gut flora.  The pickled kind will list vinegar as an ingredient.

This soup would make a great addition to any holiday table.  Bring it to a pot luck or serve it for Boxing Day supper.  It is easy to throw together and is better made ahead of time.

No comments:

Post a Comment